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After Milkshake Dousing, a Big Win for Brexit Party Leader

Early results show party nabbing a third of votes in EU election
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 27, 2019 9:07 AM CDT
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage smiles as he arrives at the counting center for the European Elections for the South East England region, in Southampton, England, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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(Newser) – Veteran euroskeptic Nigel Farage said Britain should get set to leave the European Union without a divorce deal, after an election across the bloc saw his Brexit Party and pro-EU forces carve up the votes at the expense of the long-dominant larger parties. The UK's governing Conservative Party was all but wiped out in voting for the European Parliament, as pro-Brexit and pro-EU voters both punished it for leading the country into a political impasse, and failing to lead it out of the EU, per the AP. With results announced Monday for all of England and Wales, the Brexit Party had won 28 of the 73 British EU seats up for grabs and almost a third of the votes. The pro-EU Liberal Democrats took about 20% of the vote and 15 seats—up from only one at the last EU election in 2014. Labour came third with 10 seats, followed by the pro-European, environmentalist Greens with seven.

The ruling Conservatives—apparently blamed by voters for failing to deliver Brexit in March as planned—were in fifth place with just three EU seats and under 10% of the vote. Scotland and Northern Ireland are due to announce their results later. The election leaves Britain's EU exit ever more uncertain, with both Brexiteers and pro-EU "remainers" able to claim strong support. Labour and the Conservatives, who in different ways each sought a compromise Brexit, were hammered. The result raises the likelihood of a chaotic "no deal" exit from the EU—but also of a new referendum that could reverse the decision to leave. "This is the vote that says, put no-deal Brexit back on the table," a triumphant Farage said, adding his party would "stun everybody" in the next British general election if the country didn't leave the EU on Oct. 31 as scheduled. (Theresa May already threw in the towel.)


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